Resurrection

Eunice Canuel-Graveside Message

Below is the message I delivered at the graveside for my Grandmother’s funeral.

Eunice Mills Canuel, September 15, 1914 – August 15, 2010

In John 11:25-26 Jesus said, “…I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. “

The promise we have from Christ is eternal life. Though here on this earth we experience physical death, we have the promise from Scripture that “though we die, yet we shall live.” If we believe in Christ, we shall never die. We have this hope because Jesus has been raised from the dead, and it is only through Him and his resurrection that we have this hope.

Psalm 116:15 tells us, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”

To hear that death is precious to the Lord is a bit of a puzzling statement at first glance. But when we take a second look, we really get to see the thrust, or the true meaning of that statement. Death is precious to the Lord, IF, we are his saints. Death is precious to the Lord because it is at that moment, that he can welcome his precious children home.

Home…that is where granny is today. This body that we are about to lay to rest, is not granny. Her spirit is right now in the presence of her loving Savior. While we all still, in some way cling to this body, because of the many wonderful moments, and memories we’ve shared with it, we should instead look forward, and cling to the hope when we too can join her where she is, with Christ, in a place that he has prepared for us.

Revelation 21:4 promises that there will be a day when there shall be no more death, no more mourning, no crying, no pain. I long for that day. I hope that we all long for that day. May we all live our lives, anticipating that precious Day.

I’m going to finish now with a poem I wrote last night, as I reflected on what an amazing woman grandma was, and how much she will be missed, and how thankful I am that we can know where she is spending her eternity.

Granny, you will be missed, that is for sure.
Never will I again, know a heart so pure.

In our hearts already, we all feel a void.
Still we find peace and comfort, knowing you are with your Lord.

In His presence, there is joy eternal, O’ I can only imagine. To know that you are now able to gaze upon His face, I can hardly fathom.

Until that day, when we can meet again, and never have to part. Granny, please know, the love you poured out, the memories we made, will always be in our hearts.

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Now that’s living!

…that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”
Philippians 3:10-11 ESV

Many of us who live our lives as Christians set for ourselves the goal of “living like Christ”. We look to Christ as our great example of how to “live”. Now I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing, to imitate Christ in our lives is a great thing, something that is commanded in Scripture, yet we must understand first and foremost, to live like Christ is to die to ourselves. We should desire, and strive to “live” like Christ, but that in itself means that we must desire, and strive to die like Christ.  That was Paul’s desire, and it must be our desire as well. Paul said he wanted to “know him and the power of his resurrection” but Paul understood very well that was impossible if he did not become like Christ in his death, and in his sufferings. That is how we attain the “power of his resurrection” that is how we are able to “know him(Christ)” and that is how we are able to “live” like Christ.

*Just as a side not, when I say we must be willing to die like Christ, or become like Christ in His death, I am not saying we must all die on a cross, or even give our lives as a martyr (though we should be willing to do that if need be), but what I am speaking of is more of what it says in Galatians 5:24, to “crucify the flesh with its passions and desires…” or Romans 12:1, to “present your bodies as a living sacrifice…” Basically what I am speaking of is to die to ourselves, so that we can live for Christ (See 2 Corinthians 5:14-17)

Are we really willing to “die” like Christ? Is our hearts desire really to “know” Him? Are we really willing to “share in His sufferings” do we really want to become like Him? When spoken of like this, is the Christian life more or less desirable to you? Take some time to think about it, I know I will…

“…And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
Philippians 2:8 ESV


Resurrection?

I was recently instructed in a class I’ve been taking through the church I’ve been attending the past few weeks to write a short paper describing what comes to mind when I hear the word “resurrection”, or to ask someone else what comes to their mind when they hear that word. Here is the paper that I turned in…

I have been a Christian for a little over 5 years now. It’s a bit strange, but I have a hard time trying to recall what came to mind when I heard the word “Resurrection” before that. Generally I suppose I would have said it simply means to “rise from the dead, or “to be raised from the dead.”

In preparation of writing this, and at the urging of our instructor I decided to ask an older gentleman that I work with, what came to his mind when he heard the word “resurrection”.

This gentleman is a believer in Jesus, though I believe his theology is rather amiss many times. Still I was very interested to see what he had to say. I was  a bit surprised to get quite a “nugget of wisdom” from him, though I’m not completely sure it was intentional on his part. Either way, I was quite impressed with his answer.

When asked what came to mind when he heard the word “resurrection” the first thing that came out of his mouth was, “Well the Lord of course!” He knows my faith as we have had religious discussions several times, so I figured maybe he was just giving me the “right” answer that I wanted to hear, so I pressed him a little more. I said, “…well yeah, that is true, but what about outside of a Christian context, what would you say comes to mind, if you weren’t thinking about Jesus?” He had to think for a minute, and finally said, “Well, I suppose I would just say it means to rise from the dead, but I really don’t see how you could hear the word “resurrection” and not think about Jesus…”

I love this answer, and surprisingly it seems like Merriam-Webster might agree. I looked up the word in the dictionary, and this is the definition I found:  “1 a capitalized : the rising of Christ from the dead b often capitalized : the rising again to life of all the human dead before the final judgment c : the state of one risen from the dead.”

I decided to look the word up in another of my dictionaries that I have on my Mac-Book and found several similar definitions. Even the sentences to give the context of how to use the word mentioned something about Christ.

So it seems that my old friend on this particular day had his theology just right. You really can’t think of the word “resurrection” without thinking of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As I mentioned before becoming a Christian I would have given a definition akin to something like, “to rise from the dead, or “to be raised from the dead.” Now I see so much more to the word. The following verses I’m about to quote really are what the word now encompasses to me, and gives me such hope and such wonderful promises, now that I am a believer:

Romans 6:4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

And

Romans 8:11, If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”

The word doesn’t simply mean to “rise from the dead anymore, but it means a newness of life. We are not just restored to our old selves, but we are something completely new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Soli Deo Gloria